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Loneliness Is Hereditary, It Can Be Found In Your Genes: Study

Loneliness Is Hereditary, It Can Be Found In Your Genes: Study

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First Posted: Sep 23, 2016 03:48 AM EDT
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Study found that loneliness which often leads to depression can be hereditary. (Image used for representation only.)
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Feeling constantly lonely? A recent study suggests that you may blame it on your genes. Though the environment is a huge factor the new study reveals that loneliness can actually be hereditary.

Researchers from the University of San Diego formed a team to investigate on why loneliness affects certain people more than others. The initial results link to the environment as the most influential cause. However, after further studies, they have found that certain genes can cause some people to be alert in social relations and generate depression if they feel unwanted.

Experts dealt with the information from the survey conducted by the Health and Retirement Study. With over 10,760 participants aged 50 and above, they established a questionnaire to measure the loneliness of the involved, without mentioning the word "lonely" for some people do not want to admit that they are experiencing such emotion. The questions rounded through the frequency when the participants felt left out, alone, and isolated. For them to get the accurate result researchers even accounted their gender, age, and marital status; for these factors have a big role on people's emotional quotient.

To analyze the outcome, they collaborated the genetic information and the results of the questionnaire from the participants. The researchers estimated that the genetic disposition can account from 14 to 27 percent of the person's tendency to be lonely. And also, they found that the impulse to have a lonely feeling is "modestly heritable." Thus, researchers also identified that loneliness corresponds with "depressive symptoms," according to IFL Science.com.

Lead author of the study and professor of Psychiatry, Abraham Palmer, said in a statement that, when comparing two people with the same number of close friends and family, one might see their social structure sufficient while the other does not. He added, "that's what we mean by 'genetic predisposition to loneliness' we want to know why, genetically speaking, and one person is more likely than another to feel lonely, even in the same situation," reports Daily Mail.com.

In line with this, the team is now doing further research to find a genetic predictor. The specific genetic variation would allow them to gather additional insights of how molecular mechanism could influence loneliness. So the next time you meet a lonely person, don't be that easy to judge.

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